We’re all spending so much more time in online meetings these days, and much of our interviewing and client onboarding is happening via video chat. So what can you do to make a great first virtual impression?
Andres Lares, Managing Partner at Shapiro Negotiations Institute (SNI), offers these five body language tips to ensure you are making the best possible virtual impression:
Maintain an open posture. If you’re meeting over a video conferencing platform or Facetime, make sure to sit up straight and give eye contact while you or the other person is speaking. This also means choosing the right background. Clean is good but bare walls aren’t ideal because it doesn’t give the other person something to connect with.
Don’t jump right to business
Small talk is what builds rapport. It is the gel that connects people and allows others to trust you. Remember, you can always email a proposal later so use the time on video to get to know the person and their needs.
Smiling shows you enjoy people and are glad to meet them; people who smile are seen as kinder and warmer as well. Smiling when you meet people is powerful, too. However, make sure your smile is sincere.
Get yourself in a positive mindset
Even if you prefer in-person meetings to video, remember video does have advantages (cost and time being two of the biggest) so it’s here to stay. To make the most of your video calls, adopt a positive mindset. To help this along, before a meeting, do an activity you enjoy such as going for a walk or listening to your favorite music.
Always have an agenda and questions prepared
An agenda keeps meetings on track (so that you have more time for the personal rapport building at the beginning!) and the questions help to make sure you don’t do all the talking and engage the other person.
Check your online brand
People may look you up on LinkedIn, and other places, before meeting you for the first time so make sure you have a strong online presence. Considering a few posts and articles, in addition to the minimums of having a good picture and complete bio. Equally, make sure to look up people you are going to speak with, as it will help to give you context: what school they went to, how long they have been at the company and so on.
About the Author
Andres is the Managing Partner at Shapiro Negotiations Institute (SNI). Andres’ expertise is in deal coaching live negotiations for sports clients such as the San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns, Milwaukee Brewers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Brooklyn Nets. Andres has guest lectured on negotiation at various universities and conferences including Ohio University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Baltimore, Endicott College, York College, Queen’s University, and the National Sports Forum. He annually teaches a highly sought after course on Sports Negotiation at Johns Hopkins University.
Andres completed an Economics degree at Queen’s University in Canada, a Master of Business Administration and Master of Sports Administration at Ohio University, and worked at the Philadelphia Eagles and Creative Artists Agency (formerly France Allpro Athlete Management) as well as a consultant at a few different firms across North America. Andres was born in Venezuela, grew up in Canada, and has traveled to over 30 countries. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife and two kids.